Background: Genome organization into subchromosomal topologically associating domains (TADs) is linked to cell-type-specific gene expression programs. However, dynamic properties of such domains remain elusive, and it is unclear how domain plasticity modulates genomic accessibility for soluble factors. Results: Here, we combine and compare a high-resolution topology analysis of interacting chromatin loci with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy measurements of domain dynamics in single living cells. We identify topologically and dynamically independent chromatin domains of ~1 Mb in size that are best described by a loop-cluster polymer model. Hydrodynamic relaxation times and gyration radii of domains are larger for open (161 ± 15 ms, 297 ± 9 nm) than for dense chromatin (88 ± 7 ms, 243 ± 6 nm) and increase globally upon chromatin hyperacetylation or ATP depletion. Conclusions: Based on the domain structure and dynamics measurements, we propose a loop-cluster model for chromatin domains. It suggests that the regulation of chromatin accessibility for soluble factors displays a significantly stronger dependence on factor concentration than search processes within a static network.

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Epigenetics & Chromatin
Biophysical Genomics, Department Cell Biology & Genetics

Wachsmuth, M., Knoch, T., & Rippe, K. (2016). Dynamic properties of independent chromatin domains measured by correlation spectroscopy in living cells. Epigenetics & Chromatin, 9(1), 1–20. doi:10.1186/s13072-016-0093-1